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    Reconstruction

    3rd milk collection centre completed in Logar

    PUL-I-ALAM (PAN): The Department of Agriculture and Livestock, with the support of the Czech Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), has completed work on a new milk collection centre in central Logar province.

     A statement from the PRT said the main goal of the project implemented in the Jelga village on the outskirts of Pul-i-Alam, the provincial capital, was to support local farmers and increase their income.

    So far the collection centre was housed in a local shop. “The conditions were terrible over there. We didn´t have any equipment,” said Syed Wahidullah, head of the dairy cooperative in Jelga. His cooperative consists of some 190 farmers.

    The project was closely coordinated with the provincial government. A new building was constructed and equipped with new technologies. “Now we can store the milk in good conditions and also produce yoghurts, butter and cheese. We can also measure the quality of the milk,” Wahidullah said.

    The expected result of the project is to boost the income from milk production. “Thanks to the new building and equipment, we expect an increase in revenues of some 30 to 35 percent,” said Khan Shereen, an official at the Deapartment of Agriculture and Livestock.

    His expectation is based on the experience from Shikak and Malak Abdullah Jan villages, where two centres were built in 2009 and 2010. “Not only incomes, but the total amount of the milk grew as much as 10 liters per person and per day. The reason is that the centre now has the facilities to store more milk,” said Pavel Burian, agriculture advisor from Czech PRT.

    The system of milk collection in Logar is working on the basis of small centre, where members of cooperatives bring the milk every day and sell one litres for aproximatelly 50 cents. The milk collected is then trasported to the central dairy in Kabul.  But most of the centres are based in mud houses and hence poorly equipped.

    Agriculture projects are an essential part of PRT activities. Among them there is seed distribution, apiculture training, cold storage construction and support of silkworm production. The largest project has been the construction of an agriculture high school, which will be the first educational institution in the area of agriculture in Logar.

    pr/mud